LW7088 - Research for Advanced Legal Studies

What will I learn on this module?

This module offers a critical introduction to legal research methods. It is designed to ensure that you will be able to confidently embark on legal research on your Masters programme whatever your academic background or jurisdiction. Your lectures are designed to refresh and develop your understanding of legal research techniques, referencing and evaluating sources. In your workshops you will be provided with opportunities to undertake and obtain feedback upon a series of legal research and writing tasks, thus enabling you to develop critical understanding of what it meant by effective legal research, and how you yourself can become an effective legal researcher.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is offered on both the full-time and the part-time, distance-learning delivery model. For both models, the module will employ a mix of lectures and workshops. The lectures will be used to ensure that all students have an understanding of the nature of the research that they will be required to conduct on this module and on their LLM programme, the type and range of sources that they will be expected and the manner in which they should present their research. If you are studying in part-time, distance-learning, you will be offered the opportunity to take part in virtual, synchronous seminars and all supporting materials will be made available for you. If on the full-time delivery mode, during your two-hour workshops you will be provided with a number of opportunities to undertake research, to consider how to effectively reference legal sources, and to present your findings orally and in writing. You will undertake tasks both individually and in groups. During the workshops you will receive feedback from your tutors and from fellow students and you will be encouraged to reflect upon the feedback you receive and how that feedback can be used to improve your research and writing. Your module is supported by a range of electronic materials, which are made available to all students via the elearning platform (Blackboard Ultra). These include lecture recordings, written guidance, worked examples of assignments, and self-test exercises. You will receive a module handbook which outlines the formal sessions (lectures and workshops), and provides details of tutor-directed and independent study/learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported in a number of ways. This module will be designed and managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions including notes for lectures and workshops will be accessible on-line through Blackboard Ultra. The site is maintained by your Module Tutor, who will also provide guidance on any other issues that they consider relevant to your studies. You will receive oral feedback from your tutors during your workshops following the completion of the presentations and the submission of short pieces of written work that you are required to submit during the course of the module. Your tutors will also be very happy to answer any questions that you may have on any aspect of the module.
The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources, a range of materials designed to support the development of students’ study skills, and software including bibliographic software such as Endnote.
At programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole. The Programme Administration and Student Liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks. If you are studying this module as a part-time, distance-learning student, you will also receive augmented online support from the module tutor.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• You will be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of legal research methods, understanding how to locate, use and accurately cite relevant case law, legislation, and academic research in the context of both case studies and essay based questions

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• You will be able to conduct self-directed research including accurate identification of issue(s) which require researching and the retrieval and critical evaluation of accurate, current and relevant information from a range of appropriate sources
• You will be able to present your findings clearly in writing and orally

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• You will be able to reflect upon your own and others’ functioning in order to improve practice.

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of: (a) A 2000 word assignment (which includes a 500 word research trial). This assignment constitutes 88% of the marks for this Module. (b) Completion of three short tasks (each worth 4% of marks) designed to demonstrate development of students research, referencing and writing). Students will undertake a number of individual and group research, referencing and writing activities during the course of the module, including but not limited to the three short tasks which are summatively assessed.. Assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance. Students will receive feedback upon all activities undertaken as part of the workshop programme.





Module abstract

This module provides an introduction to advanced legal research methods. It has been designed to ensure that all students registered on the LLM Full time suite of programmes will be able to confidently embark on legal research on their chosen Masters programme. You will be taught through a mix of lectures, workshops and online activities. Lectures, in particular, will enable you to develop your understanding of legal research techniques, referencing and evaluating sources. The workshops will provide a supportive environment in which students will undertake and receive feedback upon a series of research, referencing and writing tasks.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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